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Old 26 August 2003, 15:57
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BMC James Elliott Williams

My friend and Hero,


WILLIAMS, JAMES E.

The most highly decorated enlisted man in the Navy. Here's just one of his many awards:

Rank and organization: Boatswain's Mate First Class (PO1c.), U.S. Navy, River Section 531, My Tho, RVN,

Place and date: Mekong River, Republic of Vietnam, 31 October 1966.

Entered service at: Columbia, S.C. Born: 13 June 1930, Rock Hill, S.C.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. PO1c. Williams was serving as Boat Captain and Patrol Officer aboard River Patrol Boat (PBR) 105 accompanied by another patrol boat when the patrol was suddenly taken under fire by 2 enemy sampans. PO1c. Williams immediately ordered the fire returned, killing the crew of 1 enemy boat and causing the other sampan to take refuge in a nearby river inlet. Pursuing the fleeing sampan, the U.S. patrol encountered a heavy volume of small-arms fire from enemy forces, at close range, occupying well-concealed positions along the river bank. Maneuvering through this fire, the patrol confronted a numerically superior enemy force aboard 2 enemy junks and 8 sampans augmented by heavy automatic weapons fire from ashore. In the savage battle that ensued, PO1c. Williams, with utter disregard for his safety exposed himself to the withering hail of enemy fire to direct counter-fire and inspire the actions of his patrol. Recognizing the overwhelming strength of the enemy force, PO1c. Williams deployed his patrol to await the arrival of armed helicopters. In the course of his movement his discovered an even larger concentration of enemy boats. Not waiting for the arrival of the armed helicopters, he displayed great initiative and boldly led the patrol through the intense enemy fire and damaged or destroyed 50 enemy sampans and 7 junks. This phase of the action completed, and with the arrival of the armed helicopters, PO1c. Williams directed the attack on the remaining enemy force. Now virtually dark, and although PO1c. Williams was aware that his boats would become even better targets, he ordered the patrol boats' search lights turned on to better illuminate the area and moved the patrol perilously close to shore to press the attack. Despite a waning supply of ammunition the patrol successfully engaged the enemy ashore and completed the rout of the enemy force. Under the leadership of PO 1 c. Williams, who demonstrated unusual professional skill and indomitable courage throughout the 3 hour battle, the patrol accounted for the destruction or loss of 65 enemy boats and inflicted numerous casualties on the enemy personnel. His extraordinary heroism and exemplary fighting spirit in the face of grave risks inspired the efforts of his men to defeat a larger enemy force, and are in keeping with the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
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Old 26 August 2003, 16:39
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1968 Article

http://www.news.navy.mil/media/allha...t/ah196806.pdf

go to page 4.
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Old 26 August 2003, 18:19
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Pic taken at SBU-20 16 July 1997 by CWO Davila
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Old 26 August 2003, 20:15
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Frog,

Very inspiring. BMC Williams (and others like him) are reasons we win our wars. The All Hands article is an excellent read. Thanks for posting this.
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Old 14 January 2020, 21:43
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Apologies for the major necro-post, but I just came across BMC James Elliot Williams' story on the We Are the Mighty web site - and I knew his story had to be posted here. What a bad ass.

In addition to the MOH, Williams other awards include:
- Navy Cross
- Silver Star w/ gold star
- Legion of Merit w/ V
- Bronze Star w/ V and 2 gold stars
- Purple Heart w/ 2 gold stars

How did this guy walk upright with all that hardware on his chest?
Unbelievable warrior.
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Old 14 January 2020, 23:28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frog View Post
My friend and Hero,


WILLIAMS, JAMES E.

The most highly decorated enlisted man in the Navy. Here's just one of his many awards:

Rank and organization: Boatswain's Mate First Class (PO1c.), U.S. Navy, River Section 531, My Tho, RVN,

Place and date: Mekong River, Republic of Vietnam, 31 October 1966.

Entered service at: Columbia, S.C. Born: 13 June 1930, Rock Hill, S.C.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. PO1c. Williams was serving as Boat Captain and Patrol Officer aboard River Patrol Boat (PBR) 105 accompanied by another patrol boat when the patrol was suddenly taken under fire by 2 enemy sampans. PO1c. Williams immediately ordered the fire returned, killing the crew of 1 enemy boat and causing the other sampan to take refuge in a nearby river inlet. Pursuing the fleeing sampan, the U.S. patrol encountered a heavy volume of small-arms fire from enemy forces, at close range, occupying well-concealed positions along the river bank. Maneuvering through this fire, the patrol confronted a numerically superior enemy force aboard 2 enemy junks and 8 sampans augmented by heavy automatic weapons fire from ashore. In the savage battle that ensued, PO1c. Williams, with utter disregard for his safety exposed himself to the withering hail of enemy fire to direct counter-fire and inspire the actions of his patrol. Recognizing the overwhelming strength of the enemy force, PO1c. Williams deployed his patrol to await the arrival of armed helicopters. In the course of his movement his discovered an even larger concentration of enemy boats. Not waiting for the arrival of the armed helicopters, he displayed great initiative and boldly led the patrol through the intense enemy fire and damaged or destroyed 50 enemy sampans and 7 junks. This phase of the action completed, and with the arrival of the armed helicopters, PO1c. Williams directed the attack on the remaining enemy force. Now virtually dark, and although PO1c. Williams was aware that his boats would become even better targets, he ordered the patrol boats' search lights turned on to better illuminate the area and moved the patrol perilously close to shore to press the attack. Despite a waning supply of ammunition the patrol successfully engaged the enemy ashore and completed the rout of the enemy force. Under the leadership of PO 1 c. Williams, who demonstrated unusual professional skill and indomitable courage throughout the 3 hour battle, the patrol accounted for the destruction or loss of 65 enemy boats and inflicted numerous casualties on the enemy personnel. His extraordinary heroism and exemplary fighting spirit in the face of grave risks inspired the efforts of his men to defeat a larger enemy force, and are in keeping with the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
My Tho was in my AO, and I was flying T-Bird gunships out of Soc Trang at the time. We could have been the ones responding.

Regardless, what a STUD!
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Old 15 January 2020, 13:49
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He got the MOH for running over motherfuckers in a boat. Fuckin' A Boats. What a legacy for Boatswain's Mates and Boat Guys. I stand on the shoulders of giants.

I remember reading his citation when I was reading Brown Water, Black Berets by Tom Cutler before I went to SWCC. I remember reading that when LBJ gave him his MOH he had to struggle to put it on him "Damn, Boats you got a big neck."

Then I went to 20 and got to meet him several times.

Fair Winds Boats....
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